Category Archives: Daily Devotional

Humanistic Religion

Let God be true but every man a liar.

— Romans 3:4

The humanistic religion, which is the foundation of our recent legal revolution, is based upon evolutionary theory. It holds that man has evolved from inanimate matter and exists in a universe without God and is therefore responsible for developing his own laws, which are not in any way answerable to a supreme being. As a result our laws have become more man-centered and godless.

It is interesting that for almost 2,000 years, much of civilization—including laws—was theocentric or God-centered. In the last several decades, however, there has been a great shift taking place and now the law is becoming anthropocentric; i.e., man-centered. Anthropology is replacing theology as the principle focus of attention. Self-image has become an overriding concern on the part of numerous writers. We are told that the most important thing is to develop a positive self-image. We are told that unless we love ourselves, we cannot love others; that self-love is an indispensable prerequisite to useful living—even Christian living in this world.

Humanism is just another way of talking about atheism. There was a time, years ago, when it was not politic to be an atheist, and so, instead of that, they switched to humanism. Atheism says “down with God”; humanism says “up with man”—but the end is the same. But God will not be mocked forever. He will arise in due time and judge all.

Question to ponder:
Do you think you have any godless humanistic tendencies in your own thinking?

Theft by Any Other Name

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

— Mark 12:17

‘A kleptomaniac,’ said Henry Morgan, ‘is a person who helps himself because he can’t help him­self’—or so they claim. It seems like a lot of people today seem to ‘not be able to help themselves’ to all sorts of things. Consider some ways of breaking the eighth commandment, ‘thou shalt not steal’:

Failure to pay taxes or over-taxation on the part of an over-reaching government; Shoplifting; Slum lording; Cheating for grades in school; Welfare for the able-bodied; Wasting time at work; Shoddy auto and house repairs; Looting in time of disaster; Ripping pages from library books; Switching price markers at the supermarket; Price manipulation; Marrying or divorcing for money; False advertising claims; Bribing public officials; Fraudulent stock market trades; Kickbacks on contracts; Profit skimming; Vandalism; Passing unqualified students; Fake insurance claims; ‘Borrowing’ and not returning, and so on.

Paul says let him who steals steal no more, but instead work with his hands to provide for himself, his family, and others. May God grant us grace not to steal in any way.

Question to ponder:
In our dishonest society, how can we develop a right view of our own and others’ property?

Honesty is the Best Policy

Let him who steals steal no more. Instead, let him labor, working with his hands things which are good, that he may have something to share with him who is in need.

— Ephesians 4:28

“Thou shalt not steal,” says the eighth commandment. Yet, I am afraid that old Diogenes, walking around with his lamp looking for an honest man, might have a difficult time finding one in America today. If he walked up to you and held up his lamp in your face, would he find an honest man? An honest woman? An honest boy or girl?

Once a man parked a car on his front lawn with a sign: “For Sale.” Someone stopped to inquire about it, and the teenage son answered the knock on the door. The man made a very generous offer. The son was excited, because there were some things he wanted, and the family was hard pressed for money at the time.

He called his dad excitedly. His father came out and the man told him about his offer. The father said, “Well, you see, there are some problems with this car—some problems that are going to take rather expensive fixing”—and he enumerated exactly what they were. The man thanked him and decided, in the light of that information, he would not buy the car. The owner obviously was the loser in that situation—or was he? His son never forgot that lesson. Years later he could still say, “My father is an honest man.” Can your son say that about you?

Question to ponder:
Can you think of any time where you have been less than honest? What can you do to make it right?

Toying With Sin

When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasing to the eyes and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate …

— Genesis 3:6

It is amazing to me that so many professing Christians can toy with sin and think they won’t get stung.

When I was thirteen or so I was at a Boy Scout camp in Michigan. Snakes and turtles and all kinds of other lovely creatures had been cleaned out of a huge pen. The serpents were put into a huge box about five feet high, with a hole in the top. One of my friends caught a snake that had escaped. He held it by the tail and the neck, but tried to put the serpent in the hole in the box headfirst. The tail of the serpent wrapped around his wrist and when he pulled his arm back, he pulled the serpent out of the box. The snake’s head went down near the ground, and slowly came up. A number of people stood there frozen in terror. Finally, that serpent hissed and bit my friend’s hand probably twenty times with his fangs.

I have never forgotten that event. I think that toying with sin is a snake that you don’t want to pick up by the head or the tail. Sometimes, the effects of dallying with sin can be gradual and deceptively fun; other times they can be like that serpent—swift and deadly. Either way, sin is not to be toyed with.

Question to ponder:
What is the lure of sin—why does it seem attractive to us?

A Mother’s Legacy

… remembering the genuine faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and that I am persuaded lives in you also.

— 2 Timothy 1:5

A Christian heritage is the best gift a mother can give her child. Ladies, I hope you will not believe the siren song of the radical feminists who would deprive you of the greatest significance and joy in the world—the joy of motherhood.

Former First Lady Barbara Bush was invited in 1990 to give the commencement address at Wellesley College. Hundreds of angry coeds protested. They were outraged that a woman who had never done anything but rear a family would be invited to speak at Wellesley where, in those sacred halls of higher learning, for a generation or more women had been told that rearing a family and staying at home was an abominable thing to do. But she was, nevertheless, allowed to come and speak. At the end of her speech she said something that I think needs to be repeated. She said: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent.”

I think that note needs to be rung again and again—that ultimately in life, the things that really count are the relationships we have—first with God, and then with our spouse, our parents, and our children.

Question to ponder:
What is the heritage you are leaving through your relationships?

The Skeptics and the Resurrection

Now if Christ is preached that He rose from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

— 1 Corinthians 15:12

Look at the resurrection, my friends, from the eyes of the unbeliever. I want to tell you that the resurrection is a highly unlikely thing. In fact, it is incredible when you really stop to think about it. It is so incredible that David Hume, the famous Scottish philosopher and skeptic, said that the universal experience of mankind declared that when people die they are dead, and the dead stay that way. Oh, yes, there are those who are clinically dead for a few minutes, but it has never been seen, he said, in the experience of mankind that those who have been dead for days or weeks or years or centuries have ever plopped up out of the sod and walked again.

So the universal experience of mankind is against that ever happening. Of course, Hume forgot to include the only really significant experience in his statement. Jesus Christ transformed the world when He walked out of the tomb on the first Easter morning. He answered that question, “Shall man live again?” in the affirmative, once and for all.

Question to ponder:
What were some of the proofs that Jesus gave His disciples to convince them that He was risen from the dead?

Blind Faith or Faith Based on Evidence?

… to whom He presented Himself alive after His passion by many infallible proofs, appearing to them for forty days, and speaking concerning the kingdom of God.

— Acts 1:3

Often people are heard to say, ‘”Oh, you Christians just believe in blind faith.'” The truth of the matter is that Christians do not believe in blind faith. The Bible never calls us to a blind faith. Blind faith is faith without evidence; the Bible calls us to faith in evidence. Our text says that by many infallible proofs Jesus Christ showed Himself alive from the dead. Christianity is the only historical and evidential religion in the history of the world. It is built upon evidence so overwhelming that I have never met a person who has rejected Christianity after having examined the evidence. However, I have met many who have never examined it at all.

Evidence. Evidence. Evidence. I am not the least bit afraid of any person who wants to challenge me on the evidence. It is blind unbelief which refuses even to examine the evidence, refuses even to look at it, and that bothers me. Have you ever heard anyone refer to ‘”blind unbelief'”?

We are commanded to love God with all our minds, and that certainly includes using our intellect to examine evidence and work out answers to difficult questions. The God who made our minds surely wants us to use them. Christianity is based on facts of history, not on ‘”blind faith.'”

Question to ponder:
What were some of the proofs that Jesus gave His disciples to convince them that He was risen from the dead?

With God All Things Are Possible

With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

— Matthew 19:26

The impossible is happening. Christ is risen and death is defeated. We shall live again. This is the declaration of Easter. The Great I AM has made all things new.

In fact, with God, all things are possible, and nothing is incredible. Why should it be thought incredible that God should raise the dead? God, who created us out of the dust of the earth, can bring us back in an instant. The God who swirled the galaxies into the sky can raise the dead. Not only is this the teaching of the Scripture, but the pledge that we will live again after death is made certain by the fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. “I am He who lives, though I was dead. Look! I am alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:18). The resurrection of Christ from the dead is what we celebrate each Easter Sunday. It is a celebration of the fact that with God, all things are possible.

Question to ponder:
Why was Jesus the only One who could be a pleasing and acceptable sacrifice to the Lord?

Archaeology and Jesus

He answered them, “I tell you, if these should be silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

— Luke 19:40

Some critics falsely state that there is no archaeological evidence related to Jesus. That is wrong on many fronts. Included among recent archaeological finds is a large stone that was part of a building built by Pontius Pilate in honor of Tiberius Caesar, and on that stone is inscribed, “Pontius Pilatus, Procurator of Judea.” I’ve been there, I’ve seen it, and I’ve read it.

In 1990, an ossuary (a first century bone box) was discovered, containing the bones of one Joseph, the son of Caiaphas. Caiaphas was a surname, and Joseph Caiaphas was the high priest who concocted the whole scheme to crucify Jesus after the priests were upset over Jesus’ raising Lazarus from the dead. They didn’t know what to do. It was cunning Caiaphas who said, “You know nothing at all, nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, that the whole nation should not perish” (John 11:49-50). It was expedient, he said, that Jesus should die—the death of expediency. It was Caiaphas who examined Him there in the Sanhedrin. It was Caiaphas who led the mob over to Pilate’s palace. It was Caiaphas who turned Jesus over to Pilate and demanded His crucifixion.

So there you have archeological evidence for Caiaphas, the high priest of the Jews, who condemned Jesus, and for Pontius Pilate, the procurator of Judea, who unwillingly and reluctantly was finally forced to cave in and deliver Jesus up for crucifixion.

As has been said, the very stones cry out to the truth of Christ.

Question to ponder:
Why was Jesus the only One who could be a pleasing and acceptable sacrifice to the Lord?

The Sacrifice of the Cross

… but now He has appeared once at the end of the ages to put away sin by sacrificing Himself.

— Hebrews 9:26

In the cross of Christ we so clearly see one of the paradoxes of Christianity. For Christ is both High Priest and Sacrifice.

It is interesting that in both the tabernacle in the wilderness and again in the temple of Solomon, one could find beautiful furniture. There was the table for showbread; the altar of incense; the great seven-pronged candelabra. Within the Holy of Holies, was the Ark of the Covenant with the glorious gold-covered cherubim.

Nowhere, however, in either the tabernacle or the temple was any chair, bench, or pew to be found because the work of the priests was never done. Day after day the priests offered sacrifices for sin­—sacrifices that had to be repeated continually—for it was not possible for the blood of bulls or the blood of goats to take away sin.

Yet Jesus of Nazareth offered one sacrifice for sins forever and then He sat down. His work was over. Not enough people understand that Christianity is not about “doing,” it is about “done.” Jesus declared “It is finished.” It is done. It is paid. It is accomplished. The atonement for our sins was paid in full—we cannot add to it.

The final evening sacrifice has been offered—perfect and complete, the fulfillment of the whole Old Testament sacrificial system. This is the sacrifice which is pleasing and acceptable to the Lord.

Question to ponder:
Why was Jesus the only One who could be a pleasing and acceptable sacrifice to the Lord?